2010: The Year of the Lung
The Year of the Lung is being organized by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies which includes the Asociaion Latinoamericana del Thorax, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Thoracic Society, the Asia Pacific Society of Respirology, the European Respiratory Society, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and the Pan African Thoracic Society.
Hundreds of millions of people struggle each year for life and breath due to lung disease, and yet, the devastating impact of lung disease is unrecognized. 2010: The Year of the Lung aims to raise awareness about the importance of lung health, generate social and political support for preventing and treating lung disease, and increase public and private funding for lung research.
In This Year of the Lung 2010, We Call Upon Our Partners:
- To offer widespread support to the more than 160 nations that have ratified the first-ever interna- tional public health treaty – the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control – and call upon the remaining countries to do so;
- To demand increased research funding to develop tools and treatments ranging from new diagnostics to new vaccines and medicines;
- To strengthen health systems and work towards the fair and equitable distribution of these health care resources to all who need them;
- To lobby for improved legislation protecting the quality of the air we all breathe;
- To ensure that every health worker, parent, child, teacher, employer, religious leader, community leader, media representative and government official understands the risks and symptoms of lung diseases and how to keep lungs healthy, because lung health is essential to breath andA crucial part of the Year of the Lung’s grassroots efforts is for supporters to communicate with legislators the importance of lung health research. We all need to become a partner.
Sad But True Statistics to Ponder
Kalpalatha K. Guntupalli, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, listed these sad but true statistics:
- Lung disease accounts for 19 percent of total deaths and 15 percent of disability-adjusted life-years in the
- Tobacco-related diseases kill 5 million people world- wide and 5 million from lung cancer each year.
- Despite the staggering numbers of 9 million new cases in 2007 and 1.7 million deaths a year from tuberculosis, no major new drugs have been developed for TB since the 1970s, and the only vaccine available is 100 years
- Pneumonia kills 2 million children under 5 years of age
- More than 250,000 asthma deaths per year are attributable to lack of
- COPD will become the third most common cause of death worldwide in the near future, yet half the people with COPD go undiagnosed. Early lung disease detection methods, such as spirometry, are either not readily available or not
- Each year, 250,000 to 500,000 people die of seasonal flu in the world; and when new strains strike, the morbidity and mortality can be extremely
- Nearly half of the world’s population breathes polluted Policies to regulate air quality are lagging.
Learn more and get involved by visiting www. yearofthelung.org.